Russia says it destroyed weapons terminal near Odessa

210
2
Russia says it destroyed weapons terminal near Odessa

Ukraine claims that residential buildings were also hit, cites civilian casualties.

Russian forces destroyed a logistics terminal in Odessa that held a large number of foreign weapons, Moscow said on Saturday amid its ongoing military offensive in Ukraine. The city s authorities claimed that its air defense group destroyed two missiles but that another four hit a military target and residential buildings, leading to victims. It was not immediately clear if civilian buildings were hit because Ukrainian forces tried to strike down missiles originally aimed at a military target.

During the afternoon, Russian military spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov said high-precision long-range air-launched missiles hit a logistics terminal near Odessa, where a large amount of foreign weapons was stored from the United States and European countries. Russia has warned NATO not to send arms to Ukraine, and stated that it would consider arms convoys to be legitimate military targets.

A sixteen-story residential building caught fire in about two and a half hours after being put out by Odessa regional emergency services earlier in the day.

At this point, 6 people died, including one child, and 18 people were injured. Two people were rescued from the rubble, and 86 people were evacuated, the authorities said in a statement.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, speaking later at a press conference in Kiev, elaborated on these claims.

At this moment, eight people have died. Eighteen or twenty people have been injured. A three-month old child died. A three-month old child was killed. When the war started, this child was just one month old. Zelensky said something.

According to the press office of Ukraine's South Air Command, the air defense group destroyed two cruise missiles, allegedly launched by Russian TU 95 strategic aircraft from the Caspian Sea, and two operational-tactical level UAVs, which presumably corrected the flight of cruise missiles and placed active obstacles to air defenses. Since the launch of Russia's military offensive in Ukraine, Moscow and Kiev have accused each other of committing war crimes, targeting civilians, hampering evacuations and violating international law. Several rounds of peace negotiations have not yielded any significant results.

Russia attacked the neighboring state in late February, after Ukraine failed to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements that were first signed in 2014, and Moscow s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The breaksred protocols were designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.

The Kremlin has demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists that the Russian offensive was unprovoked and has denied that it was planning to retake the two republics by force.